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Recent Developments

After years of feeble growth or outright recession, recovery appears to be taking hold in high-income economies (figure 1). Among the three major high-income economies (the United States, the Euro Area, and Japan), the recovery is the most advanced in the United States. GDP there has grown for 10 consecutive quarters (as of Q3, 2013) and is now 5.6 percent higher than it was in the pre-crisis period (although only 1 percent higher in per capita terms) (figure 2).

FIGURE 1Growth is slowly improving in high-income economiesDownload the chart data
Source: Bloomberg, World Bank

Growth in the developing world began to strengthen in the second and third quarters of 2013, despite financial market tensions and slightly weaker momentum in high-income countries. This strengthening followed a period of weakness that set in toward the end of 2012. The recovery has been uneven, however, with GDP growth accelerations in China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico in the third quarter offsetting softness in South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and contraction in Brazil. Overall, developing-country industrial production grew at a 13.8 percent annualized pace during the three months ending October 2013 (figure 5). Excluding China, activity was much more subdued (0.4 percent). However, more timely manufacturing PMI data for developing countries, which moved into the above 50-zone in August, has continued to show sustained expansion in four of five regions where data are available.

FIGURE 2 GDP in most high-income economies remains below pre-crisis levels Download the chart data
Source: Bloomberg, World Bank
FIGURE 5Industrial output growth has rebounded in ChinaDownload the chart data
Source: Thomson Datastream, World Bank